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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

Loss of "S 170"


According to a telephonecall of Mr. Reinhard Öser from Interessengruppe

 Marine Research Germany  

a wreck of a clearly identifyed boat of type "S 18" is situated 2 nm southwest of Keldsnor Lighthouse at a waterdepth of 11 m.

The boats of type "S 18" had according to Hümmelchen and a call from Mr. Raymund Schulz the following whereabouts:

Boat Whereabouts
S 18 + 05.05.1945 sunken as fast tug "Herold" off Lolland by attack of allied fighterbomber
S 19 1945 British war-loot, 1950 as target-ship to Target Trials Committee, used up
S 20 1945 British war-loot, 1947/48 sold for breaking-up
S 21 1945 USA war-loot, 18.01.46 sold to Norway by OMGUS, Feb. 1950 deleated from list of the fleet
S 22 + sunken in Wilhelmshaven early April 1945 as a result of the last big bombing of the town on 30.03.1945
S 23 (+) blown-up 12.07.1940 in 51o 18' N, 002o 05' E after a mine-hit
S 24 1945 UdSSR war-loot, 05.11.45: TK 1004, 1955 deleated from list of the fleet
S 25 1945 British  war-loot, 1947/48 sod for breaking-up

"By exclusion-method (no other boat has a sinking-positon according to the available documentation corresponding with the co-ordinates of the wreck-position) the wreck off Keldsnor probably is the wreck of "S 22". The shape of the forecastle, the composition of the torpedo-tubes and the remains of the bridge do not permit any other interpretation." says Mr. Öser.

Its true that so far it was assumed that the boat "S 18" in the meantime counted as fast tug "Herold" sank after shelling by British fighterbombers off Lolland and that the detected wreck could be of "S 22", which according to Hümmellchen had been with the 3. S-School-Flotilla until early April 1945 but had missed when the boats were gathering after the capitulation at Geltinger Bucht.

But on 17.01.2016 the former radio-man of boat "S 22", OGefr Raymund Schulz, the last survivor of the boat, reported to the Web-master that his boat sank in the harbour of the Navy Shipyard Wilhelmshaven in early April 1945 as a result of damages had taken in the last big bombing of Wilhelmshaven on 30.03.1945 where the boat was in a floating dock. 

Which harbour the boat "Herold" left and with which mission it was at sea is not of our knowledge. A lost notice is not existing. There is no report of survivors of the sinking, therefoire, it must be assumed that it was a total loss of boat and crew. 

The wreck found suthwest of Bagenkop givs evidence that the boat was probably brought to sink by a hit of a bomb or a mine or by a collision. The forward part of the ship is partly totally destroyed, the stbd. torpedo-tube is laying on the stbd., side of the wreck, the port torpedo-tube is also laying on the bottom of the sea, both tubes are empty. The Diesel-engines are seriously damaged, from some parts it is to be seen that they were Mercedes engines. Spead around the boat 40mm- and MG-ammunition is to be found on the bottom of the sea. The boat is heavily sanded in, ruders and propellers and the after part of the ship are quite well-preserved.

The Interessengruppe Marine Research Germany during their last expedition have taken the following pictures of the wreck and given them to us at our discreation:

Unknown Wreck on Sonar - Picture: Marine Research Germany

Deck of the Wreck - Picture: Marine Research Germany

   Engineroom  - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Engineroom  - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Stbd Torpedo-tube - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Lock of Stbd Torpedo-tube (definately of a newer type) - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

The Hinge of the Lock is standing vertically on "S 18" - Picture: Archiv Förderverein

The Hinges of the Locks ar in pairs and arranged horizontally - Picture: Archiv Förderverein

 Lock-Mechanism of Stb Torpedo-tube - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Bottle for compresses Air - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

Capstan with Chain (definately from newer build) - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

Bollard - Picture: Marine Research Germany

 The construction of the locks for the torpedo-tubes and the arrangment of th capstan only permit the conclusion that it is not about the wreck of "S 18" but a wreck of a newer (of a type "S 100") boat.

Lock of the Torpedo-tube of the Wreck - Picture: Marine Research Germany

Torpedo-tube Locks on "S 19" (type S 18) and on "S 127" (type S 100)

The Danish diver Martin Hĝeg Larsen has reported on 24.06.2015 berichtet, that inthe vecinity of the boat, which he has dived at years ago, he has found a 37mm-gun and corresponding ammunition on the boat and around it. (Also that point to a boat of type S 100). Mr. Reinhard Öser has, however, only found 20mm-ammunition and MG-ammunition. 

After the undetermined fate of "S 22" now is known and it is unlikely that fast tug "Herold" (ex "S 18"), who's sinking position is said to be between Lolland and Ĝmĝ, could have sunk here, "S 18" as tug surely had no torpeo-tubes. A 37mm-gun did it certainly not have. It is about a boat of type "S 100". Boats of other types have not been lost in the western Baltic. 

Boat "S 170", which had left Travemünde together with "S 226", was reported as missed since 03.05.1945 in the war diary (KTB) of the Naval Warfare Command (SKL). RAF SQN 193 has attacked with cannons one S-boat 10 nm southeast for Fehmarn (probably "S 226") and one S-boat north of Fehmarn (Probably "S 170") from 12 Typhoon I B-aircraft on 03.04.1945. The sinking was not reported in both cases. By reports of witnesses of the time it has to be assumed that teh sinking position of "S 226" is south of Lolland.

Therefore, it must be assumed that the wreck off Keldsnor is the remains of "S 170", also if Hümmelchen states for "S 170" UdSSR-loot as trialsboat "Hans Henning", 05.11.45 as TK 1007 and Gröner writes with respect to "S 170"  15.1.45 still with 11. S.-Fl., Fate?, because the boat also was missing when the S-Boats gathered at Geltinger Bucht.